Festival Staff / January 19, 2014
Luke Tennis of Baltimore, Michelle Chikaonda of Philadelphia and Emelia Reuterfors of Tucson have captured top prizes in the 2014 Literary Awards writing competition sponsored by the Tucson Festival of Books. Winners were announced on January 19, 2014 by Steering Committee Chairman John Humenik.
Tennis won top prize in fiction. Chikaonda was the nonfiction winner and Reuterfors won the poetry competition. All three will receive a winner’s prize of $1,000 and be invited to take part in the Tucson Festival of Books March 15-16 at the University of Arizona.
This was the second year the Festival sponsored a writing competition. In 2013, organizers received 310 entries. This year’s contest attracted 552 submissions from all over the world.
“Like the book festival itself, the writing competition has obviously caught on in a big way,” Steering Committee Chairman John Humenik said. “To see the number of entries, and the quality of submissions, is pretty amazing.”
Judging was organized by Meg Files, who chairs the Dept. of English and Journalism at Pima College West. A team of local authors did the preliminary judging. Final judging was done by authors Kevin Canty, Rigoberto Gonzalez and Rae Armantrout. All three will appear at the book festival. They will join Peter Turchi and Gina Frangello as faculty at the Festival’s Masters Writing Workshop, March 17-18 at the UA Poetry Center.
Literary Awards are given in three categories: fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Winners receive $1,000 each. Second-place finishers receive $500 and third-place finishers $250. The top 50 entrants are invited to participate in the Masters Writing Workshop in March. Here are the top three finishers in each category:
1. Luke Tennis, Baltimore, MD: “Go Long”
2. Jill Rosenberg, Montclair, NJ: “Everything Nice”
3. Jack Wang, Ithaca, NY: “The Night of Broken Glass”
1. Michelle Chikaonda, Philadephia, PA: “AIDS: A Family Topology”
2. Melani Martinez, Tucson: “Making A Manda”
3. Claudia Ellquist, Tucson: “When Brown Bats Fall from Safety”
1. Emelia Reuterfors, Tucson: “Anti-Kill and Other Poems”
2. Heidi Johannesen Poon, Charlottesville, VA: “The Problem of the Forest and Other Poems”
3. Heather Winterer, Medanales, NM: “Poems from Zoon”